Georgia pays 3 years worth of unemployment benefits in a week

Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 2:29 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - The Georgia Department of Labor paid over $1 billion in unemployment benefits last week – more than in the past three years combined, the agency said Thursday.

The state paid over $143 million in regular unemployment benefits and distributed over $886 million in federal funds and state extended benefits.

Since March 21, almost $10.5 billion has been paid to eligible Georgians in unemployment benefits.

From March 21 through July 18, 3.2 million initial claims for unemployment benefits have been processed, more than in the past seven years combined. Of these claims processed, 1.1 million were identified as valid. When a request for payment was made, 91% have been paid.

The invalid claims could potentially be duplicate filed claims or those without enough earned wages to receive benefits.

Last week, claims were down 16,139 from the week before for a total of 122,313 for the week ending July 18.

Initial claims totals are still high, prompting an increase in fraud investigations, the agency said.

The number of initial unemployment claims filed throughout the United States for the week ending July 18 was 1.41 million, an increase of 109,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1.3 million, the agency said.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $600 per week to eligible claimants, is set to expire this Saturday. Congress is considering an extension of the program, although many Republicans are seeking a lower payment amount to ensure that recipients don’t earn more through jobless benefits than they would from a job.

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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